Viljoen shares strategy to survive and thrive

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Fiji Airways managing director and chief executive officer, Andre Viljoen (2nd from left) at the APEX/IFSA Expo in California. Picture: SUPPLIED

If you want to change the culture of an organisation, you have to start with the leaders, said Fiji Airways managing director and chief executive officer, Andre Viljoen.

He made the comments while speaking at the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) and International Flight Services Association (IFSA) Expo at Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Center in California.

“What I soon realised is that 100 small airlines and small national airlines had disappeared because they had an inherently challenged business model,” he said.

“We had no domestic market, no frequent flyer programs, and formidable competitors.

“We needed a strategy to survive and thrive.

“We developed a number of strategies. And we have continuously followed these strategies…to systematically elevate ourselves to stand amongst the giants.

“This was to me the biggest achievement in 2023 when we got Skytrax rated as number 15 (airline in the world).”

Mr Viljoen’s approach to leadership played a pivotal role in the airline’s turnaround.

“If you want to change the culture of an organisation, you have to start with the leaders. Leadership is learned.

“We aim to bring out the best in ourselves, our employees, and our organisation. Change your thinking, change your life.”

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